It’s hard to believe that summer is ending and it is almost time for the new school year to begin. Starting back to school often brings excitement, nervousness, and some anxiety for children and teens as they start a new school year with different teachers and grade level. There are several tips that you can do as a parent to help your child or teen with this transition and have a successful school year.
1. Establish a schedule before the first day of school: Before school starts it is helpful to start going to bed at the same time as you would during the school year and begin to wake up early as if you would for school. This helps ease the transition for when children and teens have to get up early the first week of school.
2. Create a weekend check-in time: Choose a time during the weekend to go over the calendar for the upcoming week to discuss and write down any changes from the regular routine such as doctor appointments, practices, etc. so everyone is aware and you have a game plan to help reduce confusion during the week.
3. Choose a designated space for daily supplies: Have an area of the home designated where the book bags, shoes, and lunch boxes will go. This tip will help everyone get out of the house faster and help reduce the potential for frustration or someone forgetting an important item.
4. Make time to spend one-on-one with your child before the first day of school: Take your child out to lunch or to dinner sometime before the first day of school. Use this time to allow your child or teen to ask any questions he or she may have about the upcoming school year. It is very common for children and teens to experience anxiety about the upcoming school year and this one-on-one time allows your child or teen to express their thoughts and feelings and ask questions. Take this time to encourage your child and remind him or her of their wins and achievements from the last school year. Also, discuss some of the expectations that you have for this upcoming school year.
5. Start each day with positive affirmations: Children and teens can experience a lot of pressure to perform a certain way, make good grades, and make new friends at school. It is important to encourage your child or teen each morning so they can head off to school feeling confident. Some simple affirmations you can say as the parent include:
· You look awesome in your outfit!
· You are so smart!
· I love starting my day with you!
Your child can also use positive affirmations while he or she is at school to help build confidence and self-esteem. Some of these simple affirmations include:
· I am ready for school.
· I am helpful and kind.
· I am going to take a deep breath, and I will do great.
· I can learn new things.
6. Establish Clear Boundaries: Provide clear and consistent rules about homework and bedtime and establish consequences for not following them. Also, create a reward system such as extra time outside for playing, additional screen time, or reading an additional book before bed.